Entries in Snowy Readers and Writers' Festival (2)


What happened to 2014?

It is with some sense of bewilderment that I note the date in the bottom right hand corner of my computer. I must confess that 2014 sped by so fast that I had barely come to realise it was no longer 2013!  The final months of the year in particular left me spinning.

A Murder Unmentioned was released on 1 November.  Michael (my husband) and I were in Sydney.  He was recovering from a cornea transplant and I was leading him about.  I did manage to lead him to dinner with the divinely talented but wonderfully human Malla Nunn and P.M. Newton.  We ate cornbread and okra in this literally brilliant company... see what I did there?... ;) 

I made it back home in time to drive up to Thredbo for the Snowy Readers and Writers' Festival which I have been a part of since its inaugral event.  My boys came with me.   One of the best things about this crazy profession of mine is that Edmund and Atticus have the opportunity to meet some extraordinary people.  Poets like Omar Musa and Victoria McGrath, writers like Anna George, Karen Viggers, Biff Ward, David Leser, Chris Uhlmann and Steve Lewis.  I think (hope) it compensates for all the time their own mother is distracted by imaginary people.


I returned to the peaks again at the end of that month for the official launch of A Murder Unmentioned at a magnificent event at Crackenback Lake Resort hosted by the Snowprint Bookshop.  Despite having nine books to my name, I am at a loss to describe how special that night was.  The band was brilliant, the singers superb, the venue perfect, the company delightful and to top the night off with superlatives, the drama students of Snow Mountains Grammar School performed a chapter from A Murder Unmentioned so well that I swear they had been inside my head!  It was an evening so extraordinary that I wish I could bottle it somehow to share with the world, because something that wonderful shouldn't belong to just me.  But of course I haven't quite worked out how to contain the essence of a experience so photos will have to suffice!



But that's not all!  I also managed to squeeze in a trip to Melbourne for the Crime and Justice Festival hosted by Reader's Feast Bookstore.  This is a truly unique event which discusses not only crime in literature but also addresses questions of social justice and reform.  I appeared on two panels... the first with my dear friends and admired colleagues, Angela Savage and Robert Gott, and later with my Pantera stablemates Melanie Casey and Josh Donellan.  We discussed all manner of things, shared experiences, ideas and  laughter with wonderful audiences of readers. 


And then there was Christmas... which I spent away from home this year with my Dad and sister.  Dad had surgery just before Christmas and Devini and I headed up to Brisbane to keep an eye on him and do what we could.  In the flurry I neglected to update this site and wish you all the very best of the Season and a happy and healthy New Year, but the wish is now given and no less sincere for being so late!





Final Catch Up Post - Snowy Readers and Writers' Festival



This Easter weekend I had the honour of being a guest at the inaugral Snowy Readers' and Writers' Festival.  We set out on Good Friday, for the trek over the hill to Jindabyne.  Along the way we stopped at the old Kiandra cemetery, to wander among the old graves and so the boys could tangle a line in the little creek at its foot. 

I first spoke in Jindabyne  in 2010, three days before the official release of my debut noel (A Few Right Thinking Men), at an event to celebrate the birthday of the Snowprint Bookshop, and so there was a certain homecoming to presenting my 5th published novel at the Festival.

It was delightful to catch up with some of the wonderful people who first supported the book of a then totally unknown writer, slightly panicked writer.  

Also on board for the festival was my dear friend Karen Viggers (The Lightkeeper's Wife), who I met at a bus stop in Byron Bay,  Jane Carroll (author of many books included El Toro and Crikey), the illustrious Marion Lanigan (Shooting the Fox) and the highly amusing debut sensation, Daniel Omalley.  I added my two cents worth to a wonderful session of women writers chaired by  the very charming Deb Stevens.  I also presented later by myself, on books and writing and anything else that came to mind.  I finished that session rather memorably by recklessly allowing my six-year-old to ask a question.  He'd had his hand up for at least 10 minutes. 

Me: "Yes, Atticus - what would you like to know?"

Atticus:  (sighing and slumping his shoulders wearily)  "When are you going to stop writing?"

As they say - never work with children or animals.

Edmund participated in a workshop presented by none other than John Marsden, and George Negus, Peter Rees, Sandy Mackinnon and plethora of other writers, readers artists were wandering about the place.

The weather could not have been more perfect, nor the conversation more inspiring. And the company... well it was something to write home about!